The retail world is aggressive. Brand owners have to act quickly to jump on windows of opportunity because those windows don’t stay open long. Many in-store promotions, value packs and giveaways are timed to coincide with events and seasons - think TV season finales, the Super Bowl and popular holidays like Valentine’s Day.
Empty store shelves and retailer fines are a big deal, too. You can face stiff fines for missing retailer delivery deadlines. It’s tragic, and the situation is made worse by the fact that your products won’t be generating revenue as soon as you’d hoped. Your projections and margins could be way off as well.
Lead times are often the issue. And packaging lead times are some of the longest. Have you ever missed a great opportunity because of packaging lead times? Have you ever settled for a less desirable package because there wasn't time for anything else? It's possible to overcome these packaging roadblocks. Combination-run blister packages keep you nimble and competitive by decreasing your time to market by an average of 30%.
What is a Combination-Run Blister?
Combination-run blisters mean your blister is combined with other customer orders that have a common setup. In other words, runs of the same gauge material are grouped on the same sheet, so you can be part of a run with little notice. And the commonality of set-up and materials mean that your packaging partner should have the experience to guarantee feedibility on your blister packaging line.
Combination-Runs Provide Shorter Development Time
Depending on the packaging partner you choose, you could have sample blisters within three business days of placing an order. That’s a big time saver given timing for a traditional blister sample is five to eight days.
And if your packaging partner designs the blister and tooling at the same time, your blister order and all the tools you need can typically be shipped within 12 business days from the time you approve samples. Traditional blisters take upwards of 20 business days.
Good packaging partners will even work with you to design an initial blister package that is optimized for your equipment, so that you get the best speed possible on the line. The design of the blister has an impact on the efficiency of automated, semi-automated and even manual lines.
Make Sure You Are Responding to Market Trends
Companies like Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a leading supplier of specialized industrial equipment and consumables, have relied on combination-run blisters to meet fast deadlines and stay competitive.
The Walmart reshoring effort is a great example. Many manufacturers have been scrambling to relocate operations to the U.S. and others are finding distribution opportunities that weren’t available to them in the past. But they have to move quickly to get the sale. The best combination-run blister packaging suppliers are in the U.S., and do not subscribe to overseas lead times.
Packaging is often the last consideration of the product development and commercialization process. Other times, a can’t-miss opportunity requires quick action. Combination-run blisters are a great solution in either circumstance. For an even quicker path to market, consider suppliers that can help you with multiple steps in the process like heat sealing or even warehousing.
Packaging delays don't need to compromise your product introductions. To learn how to get your product to shelf faster, download our "Speed-to-Market" strategy brief!